Facebook, Instagram roll out paid subscription in Australia and Newzealand

Facebook, Instagram roll out paid subscription in Australia and Newzealand

On Friday, Facebook and Instagram started a week-long deployment of their first paid verification service to test users' interest in paying for previously free social media features.

Parent firm Meta is testing a subscription in Australia and New Zealand before launching it in bigger regions due to a decline in advertising revenues.

The price of the service is US$11.99 for the web and US$14.99 for iOS and Android mobile devices.

According to the company, users in Australia who have government-issued IDs will be able to apply for a verified badge starting on Friday. This badge will provide protection from impersonation, direct access to customer support, and increased visibility.

“We’ll be gradually rolling out access to Meta Verified on Facebook and Instagram and expect to reach 100 per cent availability within the first seven days of the rollout,” a Meta spokesperson told AFP.

Some attempts to join Meta Verified from Sydney found the service was not available on the first day of the rollout.

“This new feature is about increasing authenticity and security across our services,” Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a statement posted on Facebook and Instagram.

Crucially, the move also provides Meta with a way of mining more revenue from its two billion users.

The swelling army of creators, influencers and pseudo-celebrities who make a living online could be obvious users of verification, according to experts.

Many of them complain that it can be difficult to smooth technical and administrative problems, causing delays and lost revenue.